May 27, 2024
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Tasnim – BANGKOK, Iran head coach Vahid Shamsaei says Iran will not take anything for granted against Kyrgyzstan in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup Thailand 2024 quarterfinals.

Iran will be on high alert when it faces Kyrgyzstan in the quarter-finals at the Bangkok Arena on Wednesday.

Iran has never failed to reach the knockout stage since it first won the tournament in 1999, while Kyrgyzstan- who did not feature in the 2022 edition – had consecutive fourth place finishes in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Iran took home the three points in its opening game, winning 3-1 against debutant Afghanistan, that followed up with a 5-3 victory over Bahrain before sealing top spot in Group D after its 4-0 masterclass against Kuwait.

The Iranian side is the overwhelming favorite to lift a record-extending 13th title despite the absence of star Hossein Tayebi through injury. Head coach Vadid Shamsaei believes that the return of Ali Ashgar Hassanzadeh can inspire the team.

“Our strategy has evolved since two years ago. With Tayebi injured, we’ve had to adjust our plans, hence the inclusion of Hassanzadeh in the team. He brings valuable experience and mentorship to the squad, which I believe will benefit us,” said Shamsaei.

“I believe Kyrgyzstan has a good team, considering it defeated Japan, making it a formidable opponent. Currently, we are conducting thorough analysis, devising solutions, and moving forward. The Asian teams in the tournament have proven to be tough competitors, as evidenced by Kyrgyzstan and the likes of Tajikistan as well.

“Facing Kyrgyzstan won’t be easy. I’ve personally faced them as a player, and it is a formidable opponent. Its approach to the game in terms of tactics and philosophy has noticeably improved over the years. My message to my players is simple: if we give our best, we won’t have a poor game.”